Maybe that recently announced hiatus is needed...02 Brixton Academy, Monday July 13
It’s with a heavy heart that we hear TV On The Radio have announced a dreaded hiatus at a time many perceive them as being at the peak of their game. There aren’t many bands that have been able to encapsulate the complexities of human emotions against a backdrop that defined the realpolitik of their time with such acute awareness as this New York five-piece did on their last long-player, ‘Dear Science’. But as they open with the downbeat ‘Love Dog’ a melancholic fog descends which is weathered throughout a 15-song set that is at times subdued (‘Family Tree’) and at others criminally out of sync (‘Halfway Home’).
Yet it’s hard not to see there are still the odd rays of euphoria here and there. ‘The Wrong Way’ ups the adrenalin levels of a packed, sweltering venue, while ‘Wolf Like Me’ and ‘Satellite’ exemplify the cool ease with which TVOTR can amalgamate Tunde Adebimpe’s soulful, Bowie-esque vocals with David Sitek’s wind chime-happy guitar onslaughts.
The irony of opening ‘Crying’ with a thank-you from Kyp Malone to support band Noisettes isn’t lost on most of the audience, who groan as the trio join TVOTR during their encore of ‘A Method’ to wave maracas and dance around like pixies side of stage.But as final farewells go, tonight lacks the same verve as their show at London’s Cargo last year. Maybe it’s because Sitek is too consumed with his extracurricular production, or because Malone is looking to experiment with new outfit Rain Machine. Perhaps a break is just what they need to recharge those batteries.